Right direction | Russia is at war with the West: An interview with Dr. Stephen Blank, senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council

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DOCTOR Stephen J. Blank graduated from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (B.A., History, 1971) and University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois (M.A., Russian History, 1972; Ph.D., Russian History, 1979).

Tiberiu Dianu

He worked for the University of California at Riverside (Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian History, 1979-1980), University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas (Assistant Professor of Russian History, 1980-1986), Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education in Montgomery, Alabama (Associate Professor of Soviet Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base, 1986-1989), The United States Army War College (Professor of National Security Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, 1989-2013), and American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC (Senior Fellow for Russia, 2013 – to present).

Dr. Blank has published over 1,000 articles and monographs on Soviet/Russian, U.S., Asian, and European military and foreign policies. He authored or edited 15 books focusing on Russian foreign, energy, and military policies and on International Security in Eurasia.

On October 4, 2019, Stephen Blank attended the annual ALIANTA/The Alliance Gala at the Romanian Embassy, in Washington, DC. https://alianta.org/

With that occasion Dr. Blank granted me an exclusive interview.

1. Dr. Stephen Blank, you are a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. Please, describe briefly this think tank and its more recent activities.

It’s a think tank that interacts a great deal with Congress and also with the public, to inform them on international issues, particularly with regard to Russia and China, but not only. They are of strategic importance. And, to enlighten the public and the Congress, it provides upon for them in analyzing and coming to terms with those issues. Recent activities: we are publishing all the time. We just recently did a primer on missile defense. I just published an edited volume on the Russian military and we did an earlier one this year on Korea.

2. Very interesting. Dr. Blank, you are a reputed expert on international security and Russia. President Donald Trump’s stance on Russia, more as a competitor than as an enemy, has attracted some criticism. Do these critics have a point, in your opinion?

In my personal opinion, yes, they do. I think Russia has long since made it clear that it’s at war with the West. And I think we have to take them at their word.

3. Last question, Dr. Blank: how do you see Eastern Europe, in general, and countries like Romania and Republic of Moldova, in particular, coping with post-Soviet Russia in the foreseeable future?

Well, that’s a huge question. I mean, we can only give a very short answer here. But the best thing that each of these countries can do for themselves is to strengthen their governance and domestic resilience, and provide economic growth and security, and good government and democracy, for that matter, to their people. But, on the wider level, all these European states need to come together in closer cooperation, regional integration. None of them alone can deal adequately with Russia. But in number it’s their strength.

4. Yes. Thank you so much, Dr. Blank.


Tiberiu Dianu has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC and can be followed on Medium. https://medium.com/@tdianu

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